Kratz, WW South dangerous from deep

 
By Bobby Narang
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 11/23/2018 9:58 PM
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Wheaton Warrenville South senior guard Jeff Kratz welcomed the extra shooting practice on Friday.

After hitting 25 3-pointers in a sixth-man role last boys basketball season, Kratz is closing in on surpassing that total within the first month.

Aided by stellar ball movement Friday, Kratz drained six 3-pointers to finish with a game-high 20 points to spark the Tigers to a 63-30 win over Fenton on the third day of the Chuck Mitchell Thanksgiving Tournament in Bensenville.

Ben Bastian added 10 points and Joe Ives finished with 7 points, as the Tigers' starters played brief minutes in the second half.

The Tigers (3-0) advanced to Saturday's 7 p.m. title game against Rolling Meadows.

Strong defense coupled with Kratz's dead-eye shooting in the first four minutes broke open the game. Kratz buried two early 3s to help the Tigers gain an 11-0 lead.

"They were just shots we practiced every day, so we were comfortable shooting them," Kratz said. "We know to trust each other to knock them down when we're open. It was nice to be open without someone in my face."

Besides committing 25 turnovers, Fenton (1-2) left Wheaton Warrenville South's array of shooters open for clean looks on too many first-half possessions. The Tigers welcomed the target practice, hitting 7 of their 11 3s in the first half to seize a 39-15 lead.

"We shot a little bit better than we did in the first two (games)," Wheaton Warrenville South coach Mike Healy said. "I also think we were getting open looks, making extra passes and we moved the ball better than the first two games. We talked about getting shots when we were set and in rhythm."

The Bison, hosting the tourney for the first time since 2015, never recovered from a tough showing in the first few minutes. Fenton turned the ball over on its first four possessions, while the Tigers hit a trio of 3s in the first 81 seconds.

"We're a big believer in our defense creating our offense," Ives said. "We had short-term memory loss on missed shots and we opened things up with our ball movement. We're going to come out hard on Saturday and try and get our first championship of the season."

Junior forward Diamon King paced the Bison with 8 points and Andre Reed added 10.

"It's hard to get into offense committing so many turnovers and they did a great job with that ball pressure," Fenton coach Chaz Taft. "We fought back and will always fight to the end. We have to move on and get ready for tomorrow."

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